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I bought a Korg D1200 20 years ago for recording 4-part acapella vocals. While it has done me well, it is always a bit of a chore getting used to the quirky UI after a spell away from it, and getting the tracks off for processing and mixing down on a PC is a pain. I'm also mindful of the possibility that the 40 GByte hard drive might die soon.

I'm thinking I need to replace it with a box that has four XLR input mic preamps and can stream the output via USB to a PC so that I end up with four WAV files. All I am after is either a recommendation as to what to look for/avoid, or a pointer to a reliable website where I can find out this stuff.

Any comments welcome.

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What you need is a USB sound interface with four or more inputs. I tend to search in specialized sound internet seller to see what is available on the market. One example is https://thomann.de in Europe or https://www.bhphotovideo.com in the USA. Once I see what is available next step is to visit the manufacturer web site and read the manual. It sometimes helps with reviews on the internet or youtube, sometimes they confuse more than they help.

Most USB sound cards today have two channels, but there are still a few with more inputs.

The first thing I find is the Behringer UMC404HD. This has four inputs and could possibly work. This is not a recommendation though, only a pointer.

If you want me to recommend anything, I, as quality nerd, will go up Quito a bit in price:

First recommendation would be RME Fireface 802. You simply cannot go wrong with RME (they do come at a price though).

My second recommendation is instead to look at a location recorder. I would say either Sound Devices MixPre 6 II or a Zoom F6. These both can double as sound cards and as stand-alone reporters.

There are choices as you see.

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  • Thanks for your guidance. The best bang for my buck would seem to be the Behringer UMC404HD - relatively cheap (~NZS$320) and good preamps. My needs don't really warrant the extra cost of a location recorder. – rossmcm Jul 13 '20 at 23:02
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I'm a little late to this discussion. Thought you might want to look into Focusrite as well. I've had very good experiences with their equipment. I think their Scarlett series is in your pricepoint. I'm not sure who you would use locally (New Zealand?) but here's a link from a retailer I've used a lot.

Another option is a hybrid. Digitally controlled, but more like a live board.

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  • Thanks Drew, I saw some Scarlett stuff in the local RockShop, their price for a 4-input unit was NZ$500-plus - if they had had one in stock they might have made a sale ;-), but then I found a new UMC404HD for $319. Very happy with it, though I had to revert to an earlier USB driver to get it to play properly with Audacity. – rossmcm Jul 21 '20 at 3:13
  • That's excellent! I looked up that unit at Sweetwater and it gets glowing reviews. – Drew Mills Jul 21 '20 at 3:40

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